What is the “Right to Repair” bill???

OK, by now you’ve heard and read about the “right to repair” bill – on the radio, online, in the papers and on the local news.. lots of opinions, not much information.  So what is this all about?  Basically, the issue comes down to the fact that many car companies are making vehicles so complex, that they have to be brought back to the dealership for maintenance and repairs.  The technology in the components of today’s modern vehicles is so complex, only specially trained technicians can work on them.  Currently, car makers may only be providing their dealers with the training, information, technology and tools necessary to fix and maintain their vehicles.  The Right to Repair Act would force auto makers to make those resources available to everyone, from consumers to independent repair shops.  In a nutshell, the Right to Repair bill would make it so that you can bring your new car to your local trusted mechanic, rather than having to bring it back to the dealer for repairs.

“Right to Repair ensures that the person who bought the car and not the car company, can decide where that vehicle is repaired and maintained,” (www.righttorepair.org).

More than 106,000 Massachusetts citizens have signed the “Right to Repair” initiative petition for a 2012 ballot question.  If you are in favor of the legislation, tell your legislator to stand up for independent small businesses instead of BIG out-of-state corporations.


Crusty old green Mass plates… going the way of bell-bottoms and 8 tracks…

License plates in Massachusetts have been issued in a set of two red plates…one for the front and one for the rear of the vehicle, for many years now.  Prior to the set of two red plates, there was only one green plate required on the rear of the vehicle. There are still several hundred thousand green plates in active registration.  The green plates are starting to age out of the system, due to their deterioration in color

The RMV is NOT recalling green license plates. By state law, Massachusetts license plates must be readable from 60 feet away. Any green or red passenger plate, which has lost its reflective coating or paint, must be replaced. You can be cited by law enforcement for this violation. Also, your vehicle will be ineligible to pass the yearly required state safety inspection.

The RMV encourages vehicle owners to swap illegible plates for a set of red plates at no fee. Faded and illegible plates can be swapped at any of the RMV’s full service branch locations. (from the MA DOT web site)

Unfortunately, green plates cannot be replaced with the same number. You may exchange them for two new red ones (new plate/registration number) for no fee by visiting an RMV branch with a signed and stamped RMV-3 (provided by your insurance agent).

If you’ve still got a crusty old green plate, let’s see it!  Post a pic of your green monster on our facebook page!

Do You Qualify For Student Discounts on Your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Policy?


Student Discounts

If you have a student listed on your Massachusetts auto insurance policy, or if you are a student yourself, chances are you may be paying higher rates for inexperienced operators.  The good news is that you may be eligible for one of two student driver discounts, each of which could save you up to 15%!  Read on to learn about each Massachusetts student driver discount and ask your independent agent if you are eligible.

Good Student Discount

If you or your child is a full time student in high school or college and carries an average of B or higher, you may be eligible for a good student discount.  The good student discount is good for up to 10% off certain parts of your auto policy.  Most insurance companies will accept a transcript or report card, or a completed good student application.  See the attached Commerce Good Student Discount Application.   You must reapply for this discount every year as it will not automatically be applied to your renewal policy.

Student Away From Home Discount

If your child is living at college more than 100 miles from home, you may also be eligible for a student away from home discount.  This discount could get you up to 15% off certain parts of your policy, but may only be applied to the vehicle assigned to the student that qualifies for the discount.

You cannot take both the good student and student away from home discounts, so if you qualify for both, the student away from home discount will apply.  Ask your agent what is required to apply for these discounts, and what you’ll be able to save on your policy.  If you have any questions about these or any other discounts on your Massachusetts auto insurance policy, please give us a call at 617.773.3800.

Commerce Good Student Discount Application

What Would It Cost to Insure Steven Tyler’s $1 Million Dollar Hennessey Venom GT Spyder?

Lots.  I wonder what his deductible is… 

Aerosmith front man, American Idol judge and Marshfield hero Steven Tyler recently purchased a $1.1 million dollar car – a Hennessey Venom GT Spyder.  We were wondering here in the office this morning what it might cost to insure it.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the GT Spyder in the default list of automobiles in our rating software.  But we all agree it’s a lot.

Tyler’s GT Spyder is powered by a 7.0 liter V-8 that puts out over 1200 horsepower.  Which, from an insurance standpoint, means that it’s about as safe as strapping yourself to a missile and launching yourself headlong down Route 3 on a Friday afternoon in July (not recommended).  Tyler’s new whip will go 0-200 mph in 15.9 seconds… which means that insurance companies may actually rate it as a missile and not a car.  Tyler’s version of the GT Spyder is a convertible… which means that this thing might just be the most dangerous vehicle ever.  Needless to say, the GT Spyder may not be rated as a typical over-the-road vehicle.
We have markets for high end risks, so if you need a quote for your 1,200 horsepower car, or other high value vehicle, give us a call!


Hurricane Season Runs 6/1 Through 11/30… Are You Ready?

Many people are not aware of these dates in our region…the Atlantic Hurricane Season actually runs from 6/1 through 11/30.  Following are some tips on being prepared:


-Plan an evactuation route and destination if it is necessary to leave your home

-Teach your children what to do in the event of an emergency

-Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable foods

-Have a portable radio, flashlight, cell phone and fresh batteries

-Fill your vehicle with gasoline

-Turn refrigerators/freezers to highest setting

-Cut tree branches that could damage windows or walls

-Assemble a First Aid kit

-Make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medication

-Have your agent and/or insurance company contact information readily available



-Beware of any outdoor hazards like dangling power lines and broken tree limbs

-Boil water until you are told it is safe to drink

-Make temporary repairs, if possible

-Throw out any food that many e contaminated due to power outage or flooding

-Contact your insurance agent as soon as practical.  If you are not able to reach your agent, call the insurance company directly – most will have phone banks manned 24/7 during this type of event.

We’re hoping that we don’t have to utilize any of this information, but feel confident you can be prepared if our area is threatened…just follow this simple guide.

Local Family Robbed by Furry Green Jerk

A Quincy family’s home was broken into Thursday night by what witnesses say was a “furry green thing.”  At approximately 1:30 AM, a neighbor called 911 to report the break-in.  Following is a portion of the transcript from that call:

Dispatcher: “911, what is your emergency?”

Caller: “Yeah, this furry green thing dressed up like Santa just climbed up my neighbor’s roof and jumped down the chimney!”

Dispatcher: “….pardon me Sir?”

Caller: “Yeah, it was like this weird, creepy, cartoony looking thing.  He has a Golden Retriever with him with, like, a stick tied to his head.”

Dispatcher: “Sir, have you been drinking this evening?”

Caller: “… I had a few chardonnays, what of it?”

The “furry green thing” targeted the presents under the family’s Christmas tree, running off with the gifts in a large drawstring sack.  Luckily, police were able to catch up with the creep about three blocks from the scene, as he tried to escape on a makeshift sled towed by the Golden Retriever.  “I don’t know what this guy was thinking,” Said the arresting officer.  “He was only going about 5 miles an hour.”  The family was extremely grateful the officer was able to make an arrest and return their presents.  “I don’t know what gets into some people around the holidays,” said the father.  “I’m just grateful they caught it… what was it, like a mutant or something?”

The identity and origin of the strange green creature is still under investigation.  A statement released by the green thing’s lawyer failed to shed light on this and only deepened the mystery:  “You think you’re better than me? Well guess what – you’re not!  You’ll soon learn you’ve not foiled my plot!”  The green thing faces a judge Tuesday after the holiday weekend.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your trusted source for local, fake news, ATA Insurance Agency.

Local Kindergartener Outraged Over Not Getting Lead in Class Play

Local Kindergartener and classically trained thespian, Jimmy, spoke out Wednesday afternoon after not being picked to play Charlie Brown in his school play, A Charlie Brown Christmas.  His teacher, who could not be reached for comment, chose him for the lesser role of Lionel.  “This is an absolute travesty!  I have been preparing for this role since September,” said 6 year old Jimmy.  “That hack wouldn’t know an internal soliloquy if it kicked him in the (rear end),” he said of Billy, the 5 year old transfer student who won the lead role.  Jimmy’s father had to restrain him backstage as he tried to barge through the door of Billy’s 1,200 square foot dressing room.  “He’s a passionate kid,” said the concerned father.

The play has drawn mixed reviews from critics.  While the script is a classic, the supporting cast gives a dynamic performance and the K-3rd grade band provides and eclectic musical backdrop, the tension between Billy and Jimmy is palpable.  “I thought that one kid was gonna deck the other one!” said a local parent after the show.  The play shows nightly this week in the school gymnasium.  Tickets are $3 at the door and a portion of the proceeds will go towards new desks in Mrs. Lippy’s classroom.

This fake news story brought to you by your friends at ATA Insurance Agency.